PARIS, July 8 (UPI) -- France will enforce the ban on Islamic headscarves in state schools when the new term starts in September, says its education minister.
In a radio address, Francois Fillon said the state would be ready to expel any girl who wore a headscarf to a state school, the BBC reported Thursday.
"I will personally ensure that there are no exceptions, the Republic will stand firm," he said.
He urged leaders of Muslim groups not to inflame or politicize the issue. France has an estimated 5 million Muslims.
The ban on the scarves became law in the country in March.
Supporters of the ban say it equally applies to Jewish skullcaps and Christian crucifixes.
The Muslim groups have told girls to wear whatever they want and have pledged legal aid and private tutoring if they are expelled from schools.